Hunting for the perfect wedding gown is an exciting time in the life of every bride-to-be but with so many Melbourne wedding dress boutiques offering a multitude of gowns of all styles and designs, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Throw in the added pressure of knowing who to take with you, and how much you can spend and all of a sudden it turns from exciting to stressful. At Merrimu, we are a boutique wedding venue with over 60 years’ experience so we know a thing or two about weddings. Here’s our tips for how to have a flawless shopping experience when looking for your gown.

Set a Realistic Budget

Before you blow your entire wedding budget on the diamond encrusted dress of your dreams, take a look at your wedding budget as a whole and set a figure you’re willing to spend on your gown. Be realistic with your expectations – nothing will disappoint you more than expecting couture on a shoestring. Knowing your budget will not only hone your expectations in the dress shopping process, it will narrow your choices of bridal boutiques to visit.

Start Shopping a Year Ahead

Even simple gowns can take anywhere months to be made, and once you factor in shipping times, alterations and multiple fittings your gown could take over twelve months to make. If you are unsure of the style you want, then try to allow even longer. If you have left it late or are planning a quick wedding, consider designers which offer expedited services, or choose an off-the-rack dress that requires minimal alterations.

Use Social Media

Every bride these days undoubtedly posts their wedding images to Instagram or Pinterest so these are fantastic platforms to discover and research bridal gown trends and styles. Follow your favourite designers, bridal shops and fashion blogs to discover new collections, and see gowns on real life brides and bring these images with you when visiting bridal boutiques.

Plan and Schedule Appointments

Map out the locations of the bridal shops you want to visit and make appointments with all of them. Many bridal boutiques won’t see people without appointments while others see brides on a first come first served basis and on a busy Saturday, that might mean you won’t get seen without waiting around for hours. Ensure you leave enough time between appointments to get to the next store and try to make a fun day of it – stop for lunch and have a rest half way through.

Be Open to Different Style Gowns

Many brides-to-be have an idea of the style of gown they want to wear down the aisle, but don’t be afraid to try on something that’s completely different. Try on a gown with a full skirt or a long train, sleeves or strapless – you may be surprised to find that you fall in love with the gown you least expect.

Consider the Climate and Location of Your Wedding

Keep the season and destination in mind when you’re trying on gowns, heavy materials and full skirts usually won’t suit a summer or beach wedding, while sleeves might be a great option for a cool winter wedding. Flowy, lacy Boho styles would suit a garden party event while a sleek silk number might work better for a glamorous black-tie theme.

Take Photos

Enlist someone in your bride tribe to take photos of you in every gown you love. Take multiple photos at different angles and up-close photos of fine detailing. It’s likely you will try on many dresses so having images of the ones you like best will help make your decision easier.

The First Dress You Love Is Usually the One

Brides often think they are being too quick to decide, but trust your instincts, the dress you first fall in love with is usually the perfect dress for you. You may just end up spending hours visiting bridal shops only to come back and buy the first gown you loved anyway.

Choosing the right dress is as important as choosing the right wedding venue. If you are looking for a stunning setting for your reception, then look no further than Merrimu. Well regarded as one of Melbourne’s best boutique wedding venues, we have been creating magical and memorable weddings for over 60 years. Our heritage inspired venue will create the perfect backdrop for your special day. For information on our wedding reception packages, complete our contact form or call us today on (03) 9568 1811.

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